There’s a reason why this might have felt like one of the coolest summers in memory.
“In Illinois, July was the second coldest July ever,” said Dr. Tom Williams, who teaches meteorology at Western Illinois University.
“You always expect 90-degree days in July and August, the dog days. The dogs aren’t barking this year.”
He said the amount of rain this summer benefited farmers and helped cleanse the atmosphere, which kept down dust and pollen counts.
Although it finally turned hot and muggy over the weekend, Williams said the National Weather Service found the average temperature in Burlington, Iowa this summer was 70.4 degrees, which is well below normal.
“We’ve been in a pretty persistent weather pattern, which has had persistent northwest flow from the upper atmosphere. And what that does is bring down a lot of Canadian air masses and steers the storm track down across the Midwest,” he said.
Williams said a cool summer does not necessarily mean the fall and winter will be colder than normal, although the 90 day outlook projects cool conditions will continue from August through October.
He said the outlook also calls for near-normal precipitation, though he cautioned there is not much statistical accuracy in long-range precipitation outlooks.
Williams said climatologists and scientists were looking at a developing El Nino this year but it faded away, leaving them uncertain about what to expect this winter.